Archives for January 2012

Divorce and the Division of Marital Debt in New Jersey

Mount Laurel Divorce Attorneys • Division of Marital Debt

Regardless of whether you’re considering divorce or have already been served with divorce papers, how you settle existing marital debt is as important as the division of marital property. Here, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re financially responsible for any loan, credit card, or line of credit your name is on.

This means if you jointly applied for financing on your spouse’s car you’re still responsible for any debt on it even if he or she is the only person that ever drives it. Likewise, your spouse may have a Macy’s, Costco American Express, or Citibank credit card that you never use. Even so, if your name is on the account and he or she defaults on payments, the creditor can still pursue collection actions against you.

The Divorce Agreement and Marital Debt

While it’s always wise to include language in your divorce settlement that indicates who is responsible for what debts, this is not enough to protect you in the event your spouse fails to pay off the debt in question. The terms of your divorce agreement are binding on you and your spouse but have no legal relevance regarding your obligations to creditors.

As such, if your spouse defaults on a credit card he or she agreed to pay off, you can’t protect yourself against collection actions by claiming your divorce settlement specifies that your spouse will pay off its outstanding debt. As far as the credit card company is concerned, your name is on the account so you can be held responsible for it.

Marital Debt – How to Use the Divorce Settlement to Protect Yourself

In order to avoid problems with marital debt after your divorce, it’s best to find ways to settle debts before your divorce agreement is finalized. If you and your spouse are willing to work together, you can agree to allocate certain assets in exchange for paying off various debts. For example, if $10,000 is owed on your spouse’s car loan you co-signed, you can agree to pay off the loan in exchange for a similar value in marital assets – say, CDs, IRAs, or money in a savings account.

If this isn’t possible and you intend on selling your marital home, you can specify in advance that certain money will go to you to reimburse you for the debts you’ve accepted or to pay creditors directly. If your spouse is unwilling to work with you in this regard, specifying in your divorce settlement who is responsible for what debts can provide you with legal leverage to sue your spouse if he or she defaults on debt assigned to them.

Protect Your Financial Future – Contact Taylor & Boguski

There are a number of financial issues to consider in divorce. Understanding steps you can take now to protect yourself will help ensure your financial stability in the future. Here, it’s important to understand how divorce can affect your credit and what you can do to protect your credit score. To learn more about marital debt and divorce, contact Mount Laurel divorce attorneys at Taylor & Boguski, LLC today.

Mount Laurel Divorce Temporary Orders Attorneys

Divorce often involves recriminations, accusations, and feelings of betrayal. As a result, people can end up acting in ways they’d never thought they would in an effort to hurt the person who hurt them. Consequently, temporary orders are important in any divorce since they afford essential protections for both spouses and their children.

What are temporary orders? In New Jersey they are known as Pendente Lite Orders. They are orders pending the Final Judgment of Divorce. These orders are issued by a judge in order to establish the financial and parental rights and responsibilities of each spouse throughout the divorce process and to retain the status quo until there is a final hearing.

Why are Temporary Orders Important in My Divorce?

In New Jersey, spouses have a great deal of leeway to decide for themselves how to interact and make certain kinds of financial and parenting decisions prior to and during a divorce unless there is an Order of the Court placing restraints and limitations. This can leave both spouses vulnerable, for example if one or the other decides to sell property, max out credit cards, stop paying bills, emptying a bank account, or suddenly move out of town with the children.

In New Jersey, when the Divorce Complaint is filed there are no automatic stays except for the modification of insurances, life, heath, homeowners and car. An application must be made to the Court asking for relief, including but not limited to the support of a spouse and the children, temporary custody and parenting time, restraints on the disposition of assets, preventing a parent from moving out of state with the children, responsibility to pay bills etc. For these reasons, it’s important to ask your attorney to request that the court issue temporary/ pendente lite orders protecting your financial interests and parental rights.

Temporary Orders, Spousal Support, and Parenting Plans

While each divorce is different, in general, temporary orders do not change throughout a divorce. In fact, in most cases temporary orders may serve as the foundation for any final parenting plan or spousal maintenance order in a divorce settlement. This is especially important to remember in regard to parental rights during your divorce.
If your spouse intends to ask for full custody of your children, his or her attorney may ask for a temporary restraining order. If granted, this will affect your access to your kids and any final parenting plan approved by the court. Consequently, requesting temporary orders that guarantee you access to your children protects your long-term custody interests.

Contact Mount Laurel Divorce Temporary Orders Attorneys

Regardless of how well you believe you and your spouse resolve differences, don’t assume this will continue through your divorce. Once financial issues arise, your spouse’s divorce attorney could take a more aggressive approach, leaving you on the defensive. To protect yourself and learn how we can help you, contact Mount Laurel divorce temporary orders attorneys at Taylor & Boguski, LLC today to schedule an appointment and discuss your case.